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Weir and Intertek prop up Britain's FTSE 100
August 5, 2014 / 4:21 PM / 3 years ago

Weir and Intertek prop up Britain's FTSE 100

* FTSE 100 closes up 0.1 pct at 6,682.48 points

* Weir gains on takeover talk

* Meggitt slumps after cutting outlook

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s top equity index eked out a gain on Tuesday, as speculation about a takeover lifted engineering group Weir and a broker upgrade buoyed the quality-control and safety-services company Intertek.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.1 percent, or 4.96 points, at 6,682.48 points.

Weir rose 2 percent, the biggest FTSE gain in percentage terms. The company ended its corporate broker agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Monday, suggesting it may be targeted by bigger rivals for a takeover. Weir said the bank’s appointment by another company, which Weir did not name, created a conflict of interest.

Intertek rose 1.8 percent after Numis raised its rating on the company to “add” from “hold.” A day earlier, Intertek had reported higher interim profits and dividend.

However, aircraft parts supplier Meggitt fell 4.7 percent after Meggitt lowered its full-year expectations for organic revenue growth due to bigger-than-expected declines in U.S. military spending.

The FTSE fell 1.7 percent last week, as violence in Gaza and Ukraine weighed on markets globally. Many investors still expect the FTSE to reach a record high 7,000 later in 2014, as Britain’s economy and UK corporate profits rally. Others were more cautious.

Darren Easton, director of trading at Logic Investments, said he would look to sell positions on the FTSE if it rose to 6,740 points. Central Markets’ trading analyst Joe Neighbour also backed selling into rallies for a profit.

“We’ve decided it would be prudent to sell into strength,” said Easton. (Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Larry King)

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